Page 260F: Vertebrate Animals
Vertebrates: Life History and Ecology
Visit this site to read about the life history and ecology of vertebrates. You can learn more about vertebrates by clicking on one of the buttons at the top of the page. For example, click on more on morphology to find out what makes a vertebrate a vertebrate.
Visit this site for answers to common questions about fish. Click on any question listed to learn the answer. Ask students the following questions: How many fish species are there? How does this compare to the number of species in any other vertebrate class?
At this site you can learn more about amphibians in general and about specific amphibians such as bullfrogs and salamanders. Scroll down and click on any highlighted title to learn more about amphibians.
Nature: Amphibians in Texas
Go to this site to learn more about the amphibian species found in the state of Texas. Data show that many amphibians in Texas are in decline due to altered habitats. Scroll down to find out what you can do to help the amphibians of this state.
Visit this site by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to learn all about the use of amphibians as biological indicators. Approximately 230 species of amphibians occur in the United States. Scroll down to the table to see about how many of these species were in decline in the year 1994.
"Animals as Environmental Sentinels of Human Pollution"
At this site by the Alliance of Veterinarians for the Environment you can read a paper about the use of amphibians as indicators of the world’s environmental health. Amphibian populations have been declining worldwide for years.
Visit this site to learn all about reptiles. You can choose any topic from the menu to the right of the screen. For example, click on body structure to see how reptiles differ from amphibians and why.
Turtles in the Gulf of Mexico
At this site by the National Park Service you can learn about nesting sites of five species of sea turtles on the Gulf of Mexico. The species that nest on U.S. beaches along the Gulf of Mexico include the leatherback, hawksbill, green, loggerhead, and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles.
Go to this site by the Ornithological Council to learn all about birds. This site includes links to ten North American professional ornithological societies. Click on any of the icons to go to the home page of that society. Or scroll down to find links to other pages of BIRDNET.
Aves: Life History and Ecology
Visit this site to learn more about the life history and ecology of birds. Birds lay amniotic eggs with calcified shells and brood their eggs until hatching.
Visit this site by Cornell University to learn more about how homing pigeons navigate. You can click on pigeon homing behavior to read about the theories that scientists are exploring to understand how homing pigeons find their way home.
Spectrum of Life: Mammals
Go to this site by the American Museum of Natural History to learn more about mammals. Scroll down to see a table listing important facts about mammals. Or go to the illustration at the left side of the screen and click on any mammal species to learn more about it.
Manatees: Supremely Adapted, Seriously Endangered
At this Friends of the National Zoo site you can learn all about manatees and dugongs. Manatees spend most of their time resting and eating in shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, bays, and canals.
Go to this Save the Manatee Club site for more information about manatees. Scroll down to find out how long manatees live, how much they weigh, and how they communicate with each other.
Page 282: Zoos, Animal Parks, and Aquariums
AZA: Conservation Programs
Visit this site by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) to learn more about the role zoos and aquariums play in the conservation of endangered animals. Scroll down to species survival plan (SSP), then click on SSP fact sheet to find out what this is.
Conservation: Species Survival Plans (SSPs)
Go to this site by the Oregon Zoo, Portland, Oregon to find out more about species survival plans. Currently there are SSPs for 77 endangered species. Scroll down to see which of these species is being bred by this zoo. Click on any of the listed species to learn more about that species.
Species Information: Threatened and Endangered Animals and Plants
At this site by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service you can learn all about the Endangered Species Program of the U.S. You can search for the status of a particular species by using the search function, or you can learn general information by scrolling down to see how many, and which, species are listed as endangered or threatened in this country.
2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Go to this site by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) to find out about threatened and endangered species worldwide. Click on search to look for a particular species or region of the world. You can narrow your search by red list categories, by country, by region or the world, or by marine region. For example, you can find out what organisms are endangered in Afghanistan by highlighting those categories and clicking on the search button.
Species Under Threat: Arabian Oryx
Visit this site to learn all about the Arabian oryx, Oryx leucoryx. The Arabian oryx was nearly wiped out by 1972. A reintroduction program later released a herd of 10 animals in Oman in 1982. Find out here how many Arabian oryx were counted in Oman as of 1990.
Wild Arabian Oryx faces extinction
At this site you can read an update on the status of the Arabian oryx in Oman. The causes of the original near extinction of the Arabian oryx in Oman included uncontrolled hunting and capture. The reintroduction program worked well until local people began poaching these animals.